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This is what people find frustrating about estate agents (apparently)

Allegedly-inaccurate descriptions and difficulties finding convenient times for viewings are among the most common frustrations people find when buying and renting.

That’s the claim of a technology company, Global NoticeBoard, as a result of a survey it commissioned which involved questioning over 2,000 adults in the UK last month. 

The 2,000 were asked: “Which of the following, if any, do you consider to be the most frustrating when dealing with estate agents whilst either buying or renting a property?”.

Their answers were: 

- Inaccurate representations of the property you are interested in ... 29%

- Finding a convenient time to view properties ... 20%

- Getting hold of estate agents when you want to communicate with them ... 18%

- The amount of time it takes to go to property viewings ... 17%

- Having to register with several different estate agents ... 15%

- Knowing what properties estate agents have on their books ... 9%

- None of these ... 16%

- Don’t know ... 30%

As the combined Don’t Know and None Of These answers add up to 46 per cent of respondents, one interpretation is that agents are getting many things right. 

However, Global NoticeBoard founder Guy Insull believes there remains room for improvement. 

He says: “Our culture is 24/7 and people looking to rent or buy properties expect immediate and accurate information, flexibility for viewings, and almost instant access to their estate agent. The challenge for agents, particularly independents, is now to meet that need and expectation. This means embracing technology and providing customers with instant information and virtual viewings they can access on the go.”

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    Don't tell me Global Notice Board is an online portal and software provider !!
    Speaks volumes - I think most agents do pretty well on embracing technology already

  • stephen beasley

    The "top" answer - Inaccurate representations of the property you are interested in ... 29%

    I notice that various agents are engaged in "portal padding", something that has been running as long as "portal juggling". Some agents have over ten percent of their stock which has exchanged/completed many weeks previously still showing STC on the portals.

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    ''difficulties finding convenient times for viewings are among the most common frustrations''

    Yeah - I am afraid i dont offer viewings 10pm at night! (yes really i was asked!)

    ''- Getting hold of estate agents when you want to communicate with them ... 18%''

    Again 'Yeah!' - i know its shocking but just like everyone else (including the viewers) ''sometimes i am already on the phone or busy in a meeting!'' - ( - Thats what EMAILS ARE FOR!

  • Andy Soloman

    The key thing here is the quote:
    “Our culture is 24/7 and people looking to rent or buy properties expect immediate and accurate information..."
    This is very true. All potential customers are online, and they are online at times that suit them. As a customer you are not bothered about 9-5 culture (think about your own online shopping habits), and there is an expectation that meaningful contact can be made whenever needed.
    Our own research shows that more than 30% of all leads captured via live chat come in weekday evenings, and when you add weekends that figure rises to more than 50%.
    Ignoring people when they are on your website is the same as leaving money on the floor. You wouldn't ignore them in your office, yet far more people will visit your website than visit your office.

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    What's your job Mr Solomon?
    As estate agents cannot physically or mentally work 24/7 enquirers will need to deal with call centres who know little or nothing about the property in question. Also, clients often do not like being called late in the evening or at 7 in the morning to arrange a viewing. There is a human element in all of this and if people want to lose that - fine - but they will then be complaining that they are forever dealing with people who don't know the full facts and "immediate and accurate information" will not be possible. Buying a house is not like buying a tv off Amazon or E-Bay.

    Andy Soloman

    Richard, I'd be more than happy to share data with you, but you may have noticed more and more agents are offering multiple choices for how people can contact them, including 24/7 phone and/or live chat, telephone, email, social media.... It is all about choice. The shift worker getting home at midnight may want to select the agent for selling their property at 2am. The person who is deaf or has difficulty speaking English may prefer live chat. Others prefer to call, or email. The vast majority of people visiting your website do absolutely nothing. They breeze in and then breeze out. Most agents these days will have far more people visiting their websites than their offices, and the more options you give them the more likely they are to engage with you. The more people engage, the more business you will likely do.

     
  • Kristjan Byfield

    I think the tricky thing most viewers forget is that there is no financial commitment from them to view a property. What's more, as an agent, one of the easiest ways to vet how serious an applicant is, is to restrict viewing availability (without being unreasonable). If they are serious they will accommodate- or at least try (at which case you can always accommodate them). But if an applicant tells me they want to see a property but only on X date at X time then I know they're not serious. I wonder how applicants would react to free viewings according to the agnets schedule (as norm) with a premium 'paid for' viewing service at specified times? Wouldnt have to be a lot- say £20-30. Again, this would filter how serious they are. You could always offer to credit this should they proceed with a tenancy/purchase.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Looking at their website I am not sure who exactly these guys are or why they are lookin to comment on UK RE.

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    • D F
    • 06 January 2017 18:55 PM

    This article (whatever the desired result from the poster) is bang on in the conversation its generated. We all know that there will always be clients who want something an agent doesn't offer - that said I tend to agree with the top 3 answers. I set my own agency up 2 years ago after being with CW for 10 years, one major benefit I can offer clients and buyers is that we are open 7 days a week until 10pm personally. Outside of those hours we have call answering services, along with live chat to deal with people who want more contact. (To my existing clients im available after those hours anyway) With modern technology, its not difficult to be available. My vendors are able to use email/phone/social media/live chat/whatsapp messaging to contact me and its a fluid relationship where I know what my clients can and can not do in regards to being out of the house for viewings. Im working with them, rather than for them! If I have an empty house and it suits the buyer to view at 10pm, then why not? Surely when you are working for your client, if thats the best suitable time for a buyer - then why (if your company structure allows) would you not do it? As far as losing the human element, by being such an integral part of your clients move - surely that is being more humanized? I am aware that to provide this service level you can not be the biggest agent in the world due to physical restrictions in time etc, but as an agent who was fed up of the inefficiency of the large corporate world, providing a service that matches buyers and sellers new needs/requirements suits me. we all know that being an agent does mean you can just switch off - this is what I do and its part of my lift.

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    • D F
    • 06 January 2017 18:55 PM

    This article (whatever the desired result from the poster) is bang on in the conversation its generated. We all know that there will always be clients who want something an agent doesn't offer - that said I tend to agree with the top 3 answers. I set my own agency up 2 years ago after being with CW for 10 years, one major benefit I can offer clients and buyers is that we are open 7 days a week until 10pm personally. Outside of those hours we have call answering services, along with live chat to deal with people who want more contact. (To my existing clients im available after those hours anyway) With modern technology, its not difficult to be available. My vendors are able to use email/phone/social media/live chat/whatsapp messaging to contact me and its a fluid relationship where I know what my clients can and can not do in regards to being out of the house for viewings. Im working with them, rather than for them! If I have an empty house and it suits the buyer to view at 10pm, then why not? Surely when you are working for your client, if thats the best suitable time for a buyer - then why (if your company structure allows) would you not do it? As far as losing the human element, by being such an integral part of your clients move - surely that is being more humanized? I am aware that to provide this service level you can not be the biggest agent in the world due to physical restrictions in time etc, but as an agent who was fed up of the inefficiency of the large corporate world, providing a service that matches buyers and sellers new needs/requirements suits me. we all know that being an agent does mean you can just switch off - this is what I do and its part of my lift.

  • Katy Jones

    With regards to inaccurate descriptions, we are all guilty of writing a rose tinted description, but its our job to point out the positives of a property and I think most applicants appreciate that it has to be that way. However their real gripe here comes from the agent not having had a proper conversation about the property before booking the viewing. Negotiators can resolve this by properly qualifying their applicants and talking yes TALKING to their applicants- not emailing, and not accepting any old viewing request. You are actually doing your applicants and owners and yourself a huge favour by taking the time to properly understanding what your applicant is looking for. Many applicants can be reluctant to have a lengthy chat before booking a viewing but you really are doing them (and yourself) a disservice if you don't talk to them and get to know their needs before booking in that 8pm viewing!

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    hit the nail on the head Katy!

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